Chronicles of a Ghanaian-Japanese Vodu Priest
What are dwarves or Azizaa?
Since I was young, I have been fascinated by dwarves. I was captivated by these small beings, from watching Disney’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarves to learning about hobbits in the Lord of the Rings film series. In Ewe mythology, dwarfs are known as forest dwellers that live in mountains and the wilderness. As a boy, my father shared his own experience of engaging with dwarves. In the Ewe Vodu tradition, the dwarf is popularly known as “Azizaa” and sometimes “Agee”. Most people confuse little people and dwarves, but the two are not the same.
Those with clinical dwarfism are human beings like you and I, while the dwarves I am referring to are spirits. They are mystical dwarves, cohabiting the world with us but not always readily apprehendable to our waking senses. I will share vivid details about my encounters with an African dwarf called, “Obubuyaya”, who was introduced to me quite recently by my father, Christopher Voncujovi, a Vodu priest that runs a shrine in Ghana. My encounters with Obubuyaya led me to reflect on Ewe Vodu spiritual practice and then to study Japanese dwarves like Sukunahikona. I’ve learned that indigenous people in both Africa and Japan have long used esoteric wisdom from spirits and secrets from nature to heal themselves.
Getting Initiated: Being Introduced To Obubuyaya in Ghana
My father has been a Vodu priest (a Hunnon) and practitioner now for over four decades. He was born into a Ghanian Christian family, and converted to Hinduism in his teens, before renouncing that and committing full-time to his ancestral spiritual roots, Ewe Vodu (the ancestor of Haitian Voodou or Voodoo). I vividly remember him telling us about his experience encountering a dwarf when he was seven while at the public pit toilet ( pit latrine) in his hometown of Hohoe. He described the dwarf as a small man sitting on top of a wild boar (“a bush pig”)- at the time he thought it was an elephant because the animal had tusks but later learned that it was more likely a boar. He told me he chased after the dwarf to get a better glimpse but it vanished. I also remember many experiences meeting human…